advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Charcot-Marie-Tooth: Weak Feet and Legs?

What can you tell me about Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease? Would Juvenon be a helpful supplement? If not, what would you recommend?

A
Answer (Published 3/3/2008)

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, named for the three physicians who identified it in 1886, is an inherited disorder that affects the nerves serving the muscles in the arms and legs. Early symptoms include weakness of the foot and lower leg muscles, which can result in frequent tripping or falls. Foot drop may occur, and gait may change. Weakness of the small muscles in the feet can result in high arches and hammertoes (the middle joint of a toe bends upwards). Loss of muscle bulk can change the appearance of the lower legs giving them an "inverted champagne bottle" look. Eventually, the disease can affect the hands, leading to weakness and muscle atrophy and impairment of fine motor skills. CMT also causes pain that can range from mild to severe. But the severity of symptoms varies from patient to patient. The progression is often gradual, and the disease is not life threatening.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Arthritis - Whether you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, a healthy lifestyle, diet and prudent supplement routine may help bring relief. Start your 14-day free trial of Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for information, recipes, eating guides and more.

There are many types of CMT disease caused by different mutations in the genes involved. In some forms of CMT, inheriting only one copy of a mutated gene is enough to cause the disease; in others, you have to inherit abnormalities from both parents.

Although there's no cure, physical and occupational therapy can strengthen and stretch muscles and increase stamina. Biking and swimming are recommended for cardiovascular fitness and general health, rather than walking or jogging, both of which may stress fragile muscles and joints. Ankle braces and other orthopedic devices can help provide support and stability. Some patients opt for surgery to reverse foot and joint deformities.

I don't think Juvenon would be helpful specifically for CMT, but I would recommend lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) mushroom extracts. This medicinal and culinary mushroom from Asia has a beneficial effect on nerve growth and function. I also suggest consulting a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine and trying the Feldenkrais Method, a type of bodywork aimed at increasing ease and range of motion, improving flexibility and coordination. The Method is frequently used to improve balance and coordination. Learn more at www.feldenkrais.com.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here